What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
Why, oh why do I (man) like to think that I have something, just a little something, to do with my salvation. Do I not realise that in thinking this way I am blaspheming? I had nothing, NOTHING, to do with my salvation. God has given me all things richly to enjoy. Everything created by God is good. Every good giving and every perfect gift comes down from the Father God.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9
In this passage, Paul means ‘you were poor’ and ‘without strength’. He means that I was totally impoverished, wholly weak. I could not lift a finger, nor raise a whisper to effect my salvation… in any way! I was a sinner, with no way of escape and I deserved nothing – certainly not mercy nor grace. Yet God not only loved me freely but through the act of grace He redeemed me. Did I deserve it? No way! Did I help the process along? Of course not! From the Cross flowed the grace of God.
Maybe there was something about my actions or attitude that moved God to grace? Eek! No! God can not be manipulated! It is sheer favour on His part. Only God could turn the heart of this sinner toward Himself. I didn’t deserve to be shown grace or favour. I could not obtain nor procure this grace… there was nothing I could do to warrant this grace – it flowed from God. It still flows from Him. No sin that that I commit lessens His grace from being poured out and any good works do not procure more grace from Him. It was grace. It is grace and it flows abundantly from the Father all the time.
God showed me His grace by giving me gifts; the gifts of repentance, faith and forgiveness. I didn’t find the Lord. He sought me and found me! I didn’t make my decision for Christ! How could I when I was dead in my sins? How could I convert from sinner to saint? Only by His grace. As Jeremiah said:
Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!